Apple pie muffins

Apple pie is a favourite of ours, but we can’t eat it too often, so this is my little way of getting the taste of it, even at breakfast! These apple muffins are scrumptious! The texture is lovely and moist, and with the wholemeal flour has a good crumb. Made in less than 40 minutes including all chopping, mixing, baking and cooling, they are a great weekday breakfast, or double in lunch boxes as a treat!

Nov 2018 to March 2019 284

Ingredients

125 g butter

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

80 g apple puree (I use the SPC little tubs)

1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

2 cups wholemeal flour

¾ cup of oats

A large apple, sliced thinly

1 tbs cinnamon sugar for dressing

 

Method

Cream your butter and sugar together with a spoon, then add the eggs one at a time, stirring in between. Add the apple puree, ground cinnamon, vanilla, oats and flour. Stir until well combined. If the mixture looks a little dry just add a splash of milk or a tablespoon of butter. Now add the apple slices and stir Divide the mixture into a 16 hole muffin tin. Shove a few apple slices in the top if you like! Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes until golden brown. Ta da! Enjoy your scrumptious treats!

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Apple pie muffins

Chinese 5 spice ribs

This recipe was entrusted to me from a dear friend of about 20 years. It is his beautiful mother’s recipe, and she is a good cook, so I wanted to do it justice. So without changing a thing, I followed instruction and these ribs were divine! They should come with a warning label they are so moreish!!

Nov 2018 to March 2019 420

Ingredients

1 kilo of pork ribs

¼ tbs Chinese 5 spice

4 tbs of brown vinegar

½ cup of barbeque sauce

½ cup of honey

1 tbs of chilli sauce

1/3 cup dry sherry

2 tbs crushed garlic

1 tbs ground ginger

Nov 2018 to March 2019 408

Method

Place all ingredients for marinade in a deep oven dish and swirl and meld together until one sauce. Add your pork ribs, coating each one both sides, back and front. Cover with cling wrap and set aside in the fridge for at least 3 hours. When you are ready to cook them, place the dish in an oven at 160 degrees Celsius for about 2.5 hours. Baste as you go. I basted these little beauties 3 times. Serve with rice or your favourite vegetables, or maybe a little vegetarian stir fry. However you serve your ribs, serve with love!

Chinese 5 spice ribs

Mum’s magnificent lactation cookies (date, ginger and apricot)

So I read that steel cut rolled oats, flaxseed, coconut oil, ginger and apricots aid in breastmilk production. What better way to eat them than in a cookie!! You can make these when you yourself are breastfeeding, or for a friend who is about to be very appreciative of your thoughtful gift, or even just for the kids as a healthy cookie! They are very yummy, and of course, us mamas need them!!

Nov 2018 to March 2019 282

 

Ingredients

½ cup coconut sugar

½ cup steel cut rolled oats

¼ cup flaxseeds

1 cup rolled oats

½ cup wholemeal flour

¼ cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

A pinch of salt

½ cup coconut oil

10 dried apricots, chopped

5 dates, chopped

Half a handful of naked crystallised ginger, chopped

100ml very hot water (but not boiled)

 

Method

Combine the dry ingredients well. Add the wet ingredients and stir until everything is playing together nicely! Spoon tablespoons of mixture out and roll in the palm of your hands, or just spoon directly onto a lined baking tray. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes until brown. These are delicious! Breastfeeding is the best excuse to indulge in a few of these, but even my kids eat them!

Nov 2018 to March 2019 283

Mum’s magnificent lactation cookies (date, ginger and apricot)

Sultana scones

Scones are apt any time of day, be it breakfast, morning tea, afternoon tea or a late night treat! I especially like them when big Commonwealth events are on, like Royal weddings or when Australia gets a new Prime Minister (…and that can be quite often)!! I have previously posted a few scone recipes here with wholemeal flour or plain. This is my white flour and sultana version. However you like your scones, I hope you eat them fresh in large quantities, as it should be!!

Ingredients

60 g butter

3 cups self-raising flour

2 tbs caster sugar

1 ½ cups buttermilk

1 cup of Australian sultanas

1 tbs milk for brushing

 

Method

Rub the butter, cold, into the flour until it looks like crumbs. Add the sugar and buttermilk, stirring with a flat knife. Now add your sultanas. Once combined, knead a little, add a little more flour if you think it needs it, and then work into a ball. Flatten out to about 4cm tall and then either use a scone cutter to press out your scones, or use your hands and freehand it. Place the scones in a baking tin close to each other so they are all touching. Brush with a little milk and bake in a hot oven around 200 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes or until brown. Enjoy your beautiful sultana scones!

Sultana scones

Speck salad

My daughter loves speck! Really, anything smoked becomes a favourite for her, so as a very quick midweek dinner, we made a little speck salad. It is so lovely, we keep making it. I hope you enjoy it too!

Ingredients

Double smoked speck

Splash of olive oil or grapeseed oil

Eggs for everyone

Handfuls of lettuce mix

Roasted carrots and beetroots, sliced

Some cherry tomatoes

Half a handful of parsley

1 tablespoon of balsamic glaze

1 tablespoon of olive oil

 

Method

Combine the olive oil and balsamic glaze in a cup and stir a little. This is your dressing for later! Heat a pan with your oil until medium. Cut your speck into small cubes, about 1cm or so and fry in the pan. Whilst this is happening, plonk your salad ingredients, whatever you’ve got, on however many plates for people you are serving. Once your speck is nicely browned and your kitchen smells amazing from the smoky goodness, remove from the pan and crack everyone an egg. Cover your pan to half steam the egg and leave for 2 minutes. Now sprinkle your speck around the salad and pop an egg on top. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with love!

Speck salad

Vanilla pear cake

This cake is scrumptious! It is the walk around your hometown you crave, the memory of grandmother reading you a story book, the smell of ‘home’… wherever this delight takes you, may it be a wonderful journey shared with loved ones.

Ingredients

125 g butter

½ cup brown sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence or the scraping from a vanilla pod

2 cups of self-raising flour

A dash of milk

5 pears

A sprinkle of cinnamon sugar

 

Method

Beat your butter and sugar until well combined then add your eggs one at a time, beating in between additions. Now add your vanilla, flour and milk and mix until the batter is smooth. The mixture is thicker than other cakes, this will give us a nice crumble texture when we eat! Spoon your mixture into a lined cake tin. Now place your pears, skin on, in the mixture, nestling them in to place.

Pears washed and dried ready for the cake!

Nestled into place.

Dust with cinnamon sugar and she will be ready for the oven. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 30 minutes or so, until golden brown and smelling amazing!

I like to serve this cake in slices with a little dollop of double cream, a scoop of ice-cream or just on its own. It is incredible hot from the oven, lovely warmed up and beautiful cooled, so serve as you wish, but always serve with love! x

Vanilla pear cake

Southern Italian chicken

This dish is fabulous for many occasions. As a midweek meal, as a gift for friends doing it tough, as a ‘fill the freezer’ charity campaign – it is versatile and can be served on its own, with potato, with cous cous, or steamed greens as you wish.

Ingredients

A pinch of saffron threads

2 red onions

6 cloves of garlic, crushed or diced

A bulb of fennel

A lemon

5 tomatoes

A can of diced tomatoes

1 cup of passata

A splash of olive oil

A dash of chilli flakes

A dash of cinnamon, ground

A handful of olives

1.5 Kg of chicken any cut you like. I have used some thigh and some breast

Salt and pepper

A handful of parsley

 

Method

Place your saffron in a shot glass with some warm water and set aside. Now chop your fennel, onion and lemon into slices. Warm your pan and splash your olive oil in, adding the garlic and onion. Now you can transfer to your slow cooker, or keep in your deep pan dish on the stove, or pop things into a large baking dish. Everything is now going in to the one pot, and you stir it all in until well combined.

Don’t forget your lovely saffron. Steeping it in the warm water just brings out the flavour a bit more.

When using my oven, I make sure I have a huge pot with a lid and I bake it for 3 hours on 160 degrees Celsius stirring a few times over the period. When using the stove top I do pretty much the same, on a very low heat. Mostly, this is great in the slow cooker because you can shove everything in and walk away for 5 hours until the thing beeps!

Once done, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve! This is a very tomato based dish and the kids love it as well as the adults. The balance of the spices is quite lovely, and you salt and pepper to your own liking, so it will be delicious! Have a go!

 

Southern Italian chicken